Court action over alleged underpayment of Sydney security guards

19 November 2013

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched legal action against the operators of a Sydney security business, alleging 42 security guards were underpaid a total of more than $35,000.

Facing Court is Safecorp Security Group Pty Ltd, which operates a security services business based at Brookvale.

Also facing Court is the company's sole director John Lohr, of Cromer.

It is alleged Mr Lohr was involved in underpaying 42 security guards employed on a casual basis at various sites a total of $35,540 between June, 2012 and January, 2013.

It is alleged the underpayments were largely the result of the employees being paid flat hourly rates of $20 to $25 for all work performed.

This allegedly resulted in underpayment of penalty rates the employees were entitled to for overtime, weekend and night work, as well as underpayment of casual loadings and a broken shift allowance.

The biggest alleged underpayment of an individual employee is $2,412.

The Fair Work Ombudsman discovered the alleged underpayments when it investigated underpayment complaints lodged by employees. Contraventions of pay slip laws are also alleged.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said the significant alleged underpayments and the failure to rectify the matter were important factors in the decision to commence legal action.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Mr Lohr was involved in multiple breaches of workplace laws. He faces penalties of up to $6,600 per breach.

In addition, Safecorp Security Group is facing penalties of up to $33,000 per breach for a number of alleged breaches.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking Court Orders for back-payment of employees. A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney on December 19.

Employers and employees seeking assistance should visit www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50.

Media inquiries:

Penny Rowe, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146
penelope.rowe@fwo.gov.au

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